Attorneys for Congress call Comey’s challenge to subpoena ‘ill-conceived’

November 30, 2018

Former FBI Director James B. Comey’s litigation to quash a subpoena forcing him to testify behind closed doors next week is “ill-conceived” and an effort to dictate the terms of his appearance, attorneys for the House Judiciary Committee said Friday.

Mr. Comey this week mounted a legal challenge to the committee’s plan to question him in secret about partisan decision-making by the FBI and Justice Department related to the 2016 presidential election.

The former FBI director has said in court filings and publicly that he’d be willing to talk to lawmakers, but argued the closed-door session could resort in a distorted view of his testimony being leaked by lawmakers.

Attorneys for the Judiciary Committee pushed back Friday accusing Mr. Comey of making “a grandiose demand” to testify in front of television cameras.

“No other witness involved in this investigation has made such a grandiose demand, and this court should not countenance Mr. Comey’s temerity in attempting to dictate the terms on which he will deign to comply with his constitutional obligations,” the attorneys wrote.

The attorneys also rejected Mr. Comey’s contention that a closed-door hearing could prejudice him through what he characterized as selective leaking by Congress.

“In any event, it is patently absurd to suggest that Mr. Comey will suffer “significant prejudice” where is free to discuss his testimony in public and the Committee will ... provide him with a full transcript of his testimony within 24 hours,” the attorneys said.

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